May 29, 2020

As restrictions get lifted in areas that are now under general community quarantine, taxis and transport network vehicle services are resuming their operations, and among those back on the road is Grab. In preparation for their return, the ride-hailing app released new policies to ensure the safety of both passengers and drivers against coronavirus.

Included in this is their shift to a cashless payment scheme through GrabPay or credit or debit card. Grab’s mobility service offerings will also be simplified to GrabCar only. As part of social distancing, each ride can accommodate a maximum of two passengers only.

Both drivers and passengers must also wear face masks at all times. For drivers and delivery partners, Grab will have a mask selfie verification feature to verify if they are wearing masks before receiving bookings. Both drivers and passengers may also cancel bookings without penalty if one of them is not wearing a mask. If reported multiple times, Grab will immediately look into the accounts.

Completing an online health and hygiene checklist is also mandatory for both drivers, delivery partners and passengers to confirm that they do not have any COVID-19 symptoms and have observed the necessary safety guidelines before employing Grab’s services.

Eating and drinking inside the vehicle are also prohibited. Additionally, passengers will get a notification regarding safety protocols and hygiene upon a successful ride booking. Drivers are then required to open and close the doors for passengers.

Booking for others is also prohibited in order to conduct effective contact-tracing when necessary. Thus, passengers will be required to show a booking code to their assigned driver before boarding the GrabCar. However, a special exemption is made for account holders booking as a companion of someone whose destination is the hospital in an emergency situation.

Vehicles must also be disinfected by drivers after every trip with deep disinfection conducted at selected sanitation hubs, mandatory every other day.

They are also encouraged to have hand sanitizers and disinfectants available in the vehicle. In line with this, Grab has previously distributed over 4,000 bottles of hand sanitizers and disinfectants to its partners. 

Moreover, a non-permeable acetate barrier installed between the passengers and the driver is now required in every Grab vehicle. These will also be provided by Grab through partially subsidized hygiene kits. Driver-partners must also undergo safety and hygiene certification. Drivers or riders must also look out for anyone in the vehicle who may feel unwell and report such cases through Grab’s Help Center. If someone exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms is reported more than once, their Grab account will be temporarily put on hold until they receive medical clearance.

 

Header photo by Richard A. Reyes for Inquirer.net

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